I knew nothing about this movie going in, save for that it was starring some famous comedic actors as themselves and that it was about the end of the world. I saw it because the ex-girlfriend wanted to. I had never seen – or really heard of – the short and I think I may have seen one trailer. And I think that was for the best and explains my enjoyment.
Before it started, we saw a trailer for The World’s End. It looked like a reasonably funny comedy about guys attempting to recapture their youth. And then the trailer kept going and it spoiled the twist – like most trailers do nowadays – and so now I am less enthusiastic about seeing it even though I loved both Shaun of the Dead and the criminally underrated Hot Fuzz.
See, the thing is, these two movies seem very much alike, almost like another version of the Dante’s Peak / Volcano or Armageddon / Deep Impact phenomenon that has been recurring lately with Snow White an the like. And I am not very much less interested because I feel like The World’s End won’t surprise me like This is the End did.
So yes, this film is pretty self-indulgent – as well as self-effacing, thankfully – and there are moments where it is clear they were having fun and failed to ask themselves if the audience would. Some of these moments appear to have come from smoking too much weed and others from “Hey we’re filming a party so let’s just improvise it and that will be funny!” But, thankfully, these moments are few and far between and are surrounded by some genuinely funny – and some surprisingly startling – moments a few of which almost had me crying.
This is, at least on first viewing, a very, very funny movie that made me laugh enough I could forgive the few moments where I was like “Wow, this is a bunch of Hollywood stars showing how much they get along. Great. I feel like I’m watching Ocean’s 11 without the polish and plot.” I’m not sure it will stand up to repeat viewings but for me, in the theatre, knowing nothing about it, it was hysterical.
And so – though I always say this – I say to you, if you want to see this movie learn no more about it and go out and see it already. The less you know the better. I have no idea what the short reveals but I feel it likely reveals too much so for those of you who saw it already, that’s too bad. I bet the impact of the few shocks and many of the laughs in this will be diluted by having seen the short.
Anyway, this is the best comedy of 2013 I’ve seen so far.